A KEIGHLEY father and two sons, who took part in a £140,000 mortgage fraud, have been given suspended prison sentences.
Cab driver Mohammed Akram, 56, of Hartington Street; Rizwan Akram, 29, of Drake Street; and Imran Akram, 27, of Raven Street; had all pleaded guilty, on the first day of their trial, to conspiracy to transfer criminal property in the sum of £144,650.
Today they were all sentenced, at Bradford Crown Court, to ten months imprisonment suspended for two years, and each ordered to carry out 250 hours unpaid work for the community.
Prosecutor Charlotte Worsley said the family had been loaned £140,000 by a man called Tariq Mahmood, to purchase Rizwan Akram's property in Drake Street, in December 2007. But the money to repay the loan was obtained fraudulently, instigated by Mohammed Akram, Miss Worsley said.
The court heard that the defendants exaggerated their incomes on application forms to obtain mortgages for properties, which were sold to discharge the debt.
Miss Worsley said the offences were planned by a group and there was personal gain, which were aggravating features. But she accepted there was no loss to money lenders.
Imran Akram's barrister, Yunus Valli, said his client's intention was not to fund a lavish lifestyle. Though the offending was planned, it was not professional. He had not used anybody else's identity and there was not a breach of trust.
Mr Valli said taxi controller Imran Akram's circumstances were exceptional. He had a three-year-old son who needed 24-hour care after a kidney transplant, and his pregnant wife was in hospital as a result of complications.
Miss Shaida Chaudhury, representing taxi driver Rizwan Akram, said he had lost his good character and was highly likely to lose his taxi badge.
Mohammed Nawaz, for Mohammed Akram, said the offences were eight years old and he had returned to living an exemplary life.
Judge David Hatton QC said he was satisfied that only a sentence of imprisonment was appropriate for the dishonesty.
But he told the defendants: "What saves each of you from having immediately to serve those sentences are the ages of the offences, all of which were committed several years ago; none of you has, in the years that have followed, committed any further offences of dishonesty; and there has been no loss sustained by any body or institution. I am satisfied none of you intended there would be such loss."